Thank goodness for social niceties. If they didn’t form my social interactions, I’d have no friends and be on bad relations with my neighbours. Or perhaps I should say, thank goodness social niceties ‘regulate’ my interactions.
So I like cats. That doesn’t make me a psychopathic, nature-hating, bird-culling, three-headed bigot. Quite the contrary. So please don’t paint me with that brush.
However, I smile sweetly and politely engage in your judgmental hypocrisy while your yapping dog demands my attention and jumps up my leg.
It’s probably true that our little social world would be a mess if we didn’t have a bit of English conservatism to guide our interactions. And I’m not sure I would like to know the harsh truth about what everyone else honestly thinks all the time, but what I find most baffling is, why is it ok for some to disregard the niceties while others of us do not?
What I would have liked to say was, “Well your dog clearly has no manners, and that says more about you than it ever will about me liking cats. Good day, Sir”.
Now that I put it down in black and white, it’s not outrageously impolite. It doesn’t include name calling. Perhaps it all comes down to the niceness scale and where we all sit on it.
I guess the takeaway message here is that if someone enthusiastically tells you about something they like, whether it’s cats or picking their nose, the polite thing to do is say something nice.